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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
PILOT STRANDED IN ANTARCTICA...
It looks like a famous Australian aerial adventurer who flew his RV-4 to
Antarctica will be taking a Hercules home -- and leaving his aircraft
behind (after disassembly) until (perhaps) February. Jon Johanson, who
in 2000 flew his Vans homebuilt aircraft from Australia to EAA
AirVenture Oshkosh and back again, was on a new record-setting flight
from New Zealand to Argentina, via the South Pole, when
higher-than-forecast winds forced him down. The unplanned fuel stop was
at the McMurdo Station scientific outpost on Monday. But officials for
the National Science Foundation (NSF), which runs McMurdo and New
Zealand's nearby Scott Base, have (so far) refused to fly in the 400
liters of fuel he needs to complete his journey. NSF officials say they
are following a long-established policy. More...
STATE DEPARTMENT INVOLVED
The plight of Johanson, who has circled the world three times in his RV,
has sparked a major reaction in the aviation community. EAA spokesman
Dick Knapinski said senior officials of his organization were in contact
with government and NSF officials most of the day Wednesday trying to
work something out. He said the issue quickly went as high as the State
Department in Washington but by AVweb's press deadline Wednesday
there was no indication Johanson would be able to resume his flight.
Knapinski said it was his understanding the Antarctic base doesn't have
any avgas but, even if it did, officials probably wouldn't sell it to
AIRCRAFT HITS SKIDS, RESTRUCTURES...
Quebec-based OMF Aircraft,
which produces the $120,000, 160-hp, 128-knot, high-wing Glastar
look-alike, the Symphony
160, says it will be back in production by May despite the financial
collapse of its parent company, OMF GmbH, in Germany on Tuesday. OMF
Aircraft, which was 70-percent owned by the German company, will
reorganize into a stand-alone enterprise and continue with plans to
manufacture and develop three aircraft lines. "To do this is actually
relatively straightforward," CEO Paul Costanzo said in a telephone news
conference Wednesday. More...
MILLION SOUGHT, FOUNDERS OPT OUT...
OMF Aircraft needs to raise about $5 million to complete the
restructuring. The Quebec government has already invested in the plant
and will end up with a 49-percent interest in the company. Raising the
$5 million will trigger the release of $4 million of funds already
secured through the arrangement with Quebec. Costanzo said he shouldn't
have any problem raising the money. "There's a very high level of
confidence that we will be able to secure those funds," he said. The
collapse in Germany likely means that Matt and Derek Stinnes, who have
been the driving force behind the creation of OMF, will be no longer
associated with the project. More...
SUPPORT A TOP PRIORITY
There are currently 41 Symphony 160s flying and Bill Sprague, OMF
Aircraft's vice president of sales, says the top priority now is to
ensure continued product support for those customers. He also said the
six North American distributors will also be allowed to continue taking
orders for the 160 and to reserve positions on the 135D diesel-powered
version (which would fly with Thielert's
Centurion 1.7) and the four-place 250, both of which are under
development. There are now 21 orders for 160s and 25 options held for
the two new designs. Costanzo said that while the new product lines will
be delayed in development by at least six months by the current
situation, OMF Aircraft will continue both programs under Canadian
AIRBUS LANDED WITHOUT HYDRAULICS?
Company officials won't confirm it but, if it's true, the missile attack
on a DHL Airbus last month in Baghdad is one hell of a flying story.
Shortly after the incident, AVweb received word that the missile
knocked out all three hydraulics systems on the A300 and the
unidentified crew had to make the emergency landing using only
differential thrust for directional control. DHL has steadfastly refused
to confirm the story. In an e-mail to AVweb Wednesday, company
spokesman Claus Korfmacher said he wouldn't comment until all the
various investigations were completed. "Unfortunately, the situation
hasn't changed," said Korfmacher. "Investigations are still ongoing
therefore we cannot provide any additional information. This applies for
our flight crew members as well." More...
NATCA INK LABOR DEAL
Labor peace between air traffic controllers and the FAA has been
guaranteed (maybe) by the signing of a two-year extension of their
contract. Although much of the contract is unchanged (including the base
wage of controllers) the FAA did win some cost-saving measures in the
deal. How much they'll be able to save depends on who you talk to. In a
statement, the FAA says it will save a maximum of $40 million over four
years while the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA)
says the savings are more like $100 million over the life of the
contract. At the core of the cost savings is a "performance-based pay
system that ties part of controllers' pay to reductions in runway
incursions and operational errors," according to NATCA's
news release. More...
SURVIVES COLD ALASKA NIGHT
Rescue officials scolded an Anchorage Fire Department Battalion Chief
for failing to file a flight plan on a sightseeing trip that could have
been his last. Wade Strahan, 56, spent a wet, frigid night in an
unheated trapper's cabin after his Cessna 172 skidded into Eklutna Lake
last Friday afternoon. His disappearance sparked a massive search
covering 2,400 square miles. "It would have made everybody's life so
much easier if we'd had a flight plan," Major Chris Kobi, senior rescue
controller with the Alaska Air National Guard, told The Anchorage Daily
News. (Or a personal
locator beacon.) Strahan got full marks for endurance and
perseverance, however. He had to swim 150 yards to shore and then hike
to the unheated cabin where he spent the night huddled on a bed of
spruce boughs in zero- to 10-degree temperatures. More...
GIVE AEROSHELL SHINE
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WICHITA AIRPORT DEFENDED
Love them or hate them, airports usually evoke some kind of visceral
reaction, but officials at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport are wondering
what to do about a "tourism expert's" assessment. Alf Nucifora told The
Wichita Eagle he thought the airport bland. But, then, maybe the airport
is OK and it's the city that's bland, because he justified his comments
by saying an airport "must reflect the urban vitality of the city. In
fact, it reflects nothing." Just in case it's really the airport that's
bland, officials leapt to its defense. "I doubt that he knows about the
master plan," said Bailis Bell, director of airports. More...
It may seem like 100 years to some of those at Lancair Certified but it
only took the company eight years to reach a centennial of sorts. The
Bend, Ore., company rolled its 100th Columbia 350 out of the factory
earlier this week, a little more than a week before that big Dec. 17
to-do in North Carolina. "Having the two milestones fall so close to one
another is a fitting coincidence," CEO Bing Landis told The Bend Bugle.
"This delivery is symbolic in that the Lancair Company has seen more
than its share of challenges but we've persevered and today our outlook
for the future is limitless." More...
CRANES HAVE A HAPPY LANDING
Thanks to some ultralight pilots, Canadian wildlife charity Operation
Migration and hundreds of volunteers, there are 16 more whooping
cranes ready to take on the world. The young birds, all born last May in
captivity in Wisconsin, were literally shown the way to their winter
home near Crystal River, Fla., on Monday. More than 1,000 people were on
hand at the mall next to the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge to
witness the happy landing. It's the third group of cranes to be shown
the way. Monday's happy ending capped a 54-day, 1,200-mile journey from
the cranes' birthplace at the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in
Goodyear's Spirit of America took an unexpected bath in a compost
Manchester Airport fire chief in hot water over
John Glenn to be honored at 56th Annual Wright Memorial
O'Hare may this year show a traffic increase for the first
time since 1999...
Canadian airports have banned fruit cakes.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Say Again? #31:
Do you know where the traffic is around you? The
controller knows, and can usually tell you. But sometimes pilots make
things more difficult than they need to be -- when we're just trying to
keep away from everyone else. AVweb's Don Brown tells how you can work
with ATC to get where you're going without running into someone.
WRAP UP THE GREAT
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PICTURE OF THE WEEK...
We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's
winner, Sam Ash, of Raleigh, NC. Sams picture was taken at Barber
Field in Alliance, OH during a three week cross country trip with his my
father who is also a pilot. I think well agree few
crosscountry fuel stops offer this kind of grass roots aviation
scenery. Great picture, Sam! Your AVweb hat is on the way.
out the winning picture, or to enter next week's contest, go to http://www.avweb.com/potw
QUESTION OF THE WEEK...
We received over 200 responses to our question last week on Thanksgiving
holiday weekend. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of those responding flew
within heir local area during the holiday weekend, while 26ercent flew a
GA aircraft for a holiday trip. Only two percent indicated TFRs
restricted them from flying this Thanksgiving.
To check out the
complete results or respond to this week's question, go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw
week, we would like to know your thoughts on the upcoming Kitty Hawk
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We Welcome Your Feedback!
AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
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